Thanks to some volunteers, this elotero is better than ever.
Benjamín Ramirez captured everyone’s attention this past July when he shot video of his elote cart being flipped over by an angry pedestrian who was later identified as an Argentine singer named Carlos Hakas. Journalist Aura Bogado of LAist has been following Ramirez’s story, and the latest chapter shows that humans can be capable of incredible levels of compassion and kindness.
According to LAist, Benajmín now has a brand new, custom made elotero cart thanks to the labor of different people in the Los Angeles bicycle-making community. According to LAist, Jay Pee, who works for Los Ryderz bike club, and welder Art Ramirez (who is of no relation to Benjamín), first alerted the community to their intention of creating a custom elotero cart for Benjamín. It wasn’t long until a total of 10 people came together to create a moving work of art. After meeting with Benjamín to find out what he needed in a cart, the crew got to work. Benjamín’s new cart includes both traditional and USB outlets to charge his phone, remote-controlled color LED lights, and a powder coat meant to elongate the life of the cart. The project, according to LAist, took five days and cost $2,500 between parts and labor but it was free for Benjamín.
“I was disgusted by what happened [to Benjamín],” Chad Majer, who works with One Big Club and did the electrical work on the cart, told LAist. “So I asked how I could help.”
Mexico is putting its ingenuity on full display this week after a tamal stand outside a Billie Eilish concert started advertising its products as the “official tamales of Billie Eilish.” The woman working the Tamales García food truck outside the Corona Capital Festival heard the sensational singer start playing “bad guy,” and jumped on the opportunity. Video footage shows the woman doing a million things at once, including cupping her hands to announce to concert goers that hers were the “official tamales of Billie Eilish.”
Mexican Internet is spreading her message even further, calling the marketing strategy as proof of “el ingenio mexicano,” or “Mexican ingenuity.” The original tweet containing the video has been retweeted nearly 3k and liked over 15k, so, we’d say the strategy was a viral success.
“Estos son las tamales oficiales de Billie Eilish, amiga,” the woman tells passerby.
“These are the official tamales of Billie Eilish, friend,” she shouts while preparing other peoples’ orders. The woman’s incredible multitasking skills coupled with the marketing strategy has viewers making her the example of Mexican ingenuity. “Amo el ingenio Mexicano,” tweeted one Julio (@Julio25d). Another person couldn’t help but laugh, tweeting, “HAHAHAHAHA another level of marketing,” in Spanish. “Ay que bonito, se mira el esfuerzo de las personas,” (“Oh how beautiful, look at the people’s efforts”) tweeted La Yessi (@yessi_alvarad0).
Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find any internet presence from Tamales García.
Oh, and Tamales García has the inside scoop: “she likes green and sweet” tamales.
“She likes verde and dulce… take the official tamales of Billie Eilish, friend,” she tells the thousands of people who turned out to hear the 17-year-old artist. Mexican Twitter is joking that they also have the official water of Billie Eilish and Justin Beiber. Others are joking that “if they’re official, then I want ten.” We accept any reason, made-up or not, to consume more tamales. Maybe Tamales García knew that all along, and were marketing on Mexican principles of validation for tamales consumption. Whatever the reason, Mexican Twitter has dubbed this strategy “the best of the best.”
What’s more, Tamales García also considers itself the Official Tamales of the entire Corona Capital music festival.
The annual music festival is held in Mexico City and is going on nine years strong. Other headliners include The Strokes, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, Flume, Keane and The Raconteurs. If you look closely enough at their sign, Tamales García is also home to the official tamales of The Strokes, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Nick Murphy… you get the picture. That means that customers would read this menu sign and ask for the tamal de Billie Eilish or de The Strokes. If you wanted a Flume tamal, you’d be out of luck, but it seems they’d have an abundance of tamales de Flome. ????
Either Tamales García is incredibly gifted at being home to the taste preferences of a dozen internationally acclaimed artists and bands, or they have a real gift for the marketing value of “official” merch. Their sign even has the official logo of Corona Capital, clearly and skillfully hand-drawn. With so much competition from other tamal vendors in the heart of Mexico City, we have to give it to Tamales García for finding a way to stand out from the crowd. Billie Eilish was the final performance, making her the headling event.
Other folks are wondering what Billie Eilish would have to say about the marketing strategy.
“I’m intrigued … What will be Billie Eilish’s position on the tamales, friend? Do you think the Billie is more of a chicken in salsa verde or something less traditional, like a vegan type? Maybe she likes raisin rosita,” tweeted Pablo Diablo (@heyfungi). Billie Eilish was born and raised in Highland Park, in East Los Angeles, and arguably grew up eating tamales. Eilish was raised vegetarian and regularly promotes veganism to her millions of social media followers. As far as we can tell, the only time Eilish has taken to social media to talk about tamales was in November 2017 when she posted a rare smiling selfie captioned, “when u look like an undercooked tamale but he still love u.”
We adore young people that honor their elders by showing them love, advocating for their lives, and more importantly helping them with their hustle. That’s exactly what we are seeing out of Fresno today with a young man asking people to support his favorite street vendor and his bread.
Fresno resident Javier Amaro is paying it forward by giving a local Mexican bread vendor a huge shout out.
Amaro, a bodybuilding enthusiast, posted on his social media platforms that local residents should purchase Mexican bread from this vendor. Not only does Amaro say they’re delicious but they are incredibly inexpensive.
“FRESNO, CA AREA!! this older man sells really good Mexican bread they are $1 a bag, I purchased $15 to help him, shows me a lot that even if you are older and not that fit or healthy to work, when you enjoy doing something that you love to do, age or time doesn’t matter. PLEASE help him out he is located in 2034 N. ANGUS or give him a call 559-515-1271”
The post, which went live on Facebook on June 4, has been shared thousands of times.
Does this vendor know his phone number is floating around the internet? We’re certain his phone is blowing up nonstop. Who can resist $1 pan dulces?
Fans are showing support for the elderly gentlemen and those who have tried his goods are sending their praise.
“We always brought from him when we lived on Brown Ave., ” Angie G. Aguilar wrote on Facebook. “Sweetest man and his pan is really good! I’ll call him for sure. And share your post.”
@_lizzylizz wrote, “Dude I always use to buy bread off of him really nice sweet guy and the bread is definitely worth it.”
This is not the first time someone has posted a message in order to give their favorite vendor much-needed business.
Last year, a then 18-year-old Jacqueline “Jackie” Garza tweeted that her father’s bakery would close due to lack of business. So, she asked people to come and help, and they did. Thanks to her social media outreach, the panaderia was able to stay in business.